Retained Object Following Surgery
Medical malpractice can take many forms, and one form is a retained object. A retained object is a foreign body left in the patient's body following a surgery, during delivery of a baby or other procedure. Some common examples are: clamps, gauze, sponges, needles, tubing and surgical equipment. Sometimes, the surgical team will realize their mistake shortly after the procedure, but in other cases it is not discovered until months or years later. During that time, the patient suffers with pain and other complications without understanding the cause. Oftentimes, the doctors and nurses are dismissive of the complaints and simply chalk them up to exaggerations or psychological issues with the patient. But, retained objects can cause significant problems including extreme pain, life-threatening infections, fistulas or small bowel obstructions, visceral perforations and additional surgeries to remove the object and correct complications.
If you or a loved one has recently undergone a surgical procedure, you should know that certain circumstances increase the likelihood of a foreign body being left behind:
- Emergency surgeries
- Unplanned changes in the surgical procedure
- Increased blood loss during surgery
- Patients with a higher body mass index
- Multiple surgical teams performing the same or multiple procedures at the same time.
And, while a foreign object can be left during any surgical procedure, the most common locations are the abdomen/pelvis, vagina and the thorax.
The occurrence of retained objects is completely preventable and usually constitutes medical malpractice. Oftentimes, the surgeon or hospital will offer to pay for any medical costs associated with removing the retained object. Do not be tempted to simply accept such an offer as you may be entitled to additional compensation including damages for pain and suffering, lost wages, future medical care, etc.
If you or a family member has been the victim of a retained object, contact one of our experienced injury attorneys to discuss your rights and the compensation to which you may be entitled. John Day is board-certified in Medical Malpractice by the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys, and he also testified in front of the Tennessee Legislature on the changes to Tennessee medical malpractice laws. Best Lawyers has twice named John Day the Medical Malpractice Lawyer of the Year for Nashville. Finally, to assist with medical questions and issues, we employ a nurse on staff full-time.
But perhaps most importantly to you, our award-winning injury attorneys know how to get results – just ask our satisfied clients. We handle all retained object medical malpractice cases on a contingency basis, which means we only get paid if we recover money for you and your client. Medical malpractice cases are expensive to pursue but our office will advance all case expenses so you do not have to pay a penny out-of-pocket to pursue your legal rights.
To get started, you can contact us online or call us today at one of our Middle Tennessee offices for a free initial consultation. As always, if you cannot come to us for any reason, we will come to you throughout the State of Tennesseee.
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